Instagram officially launched IGTV, a new service for long-form videos that is expected to rival YouTube, at an event in San Francisco Wednesday morning. The hour-long videos can be viewed directly within the Instagram app and IGTV will also have a new dedicated app for iOS and Android.
“It’s time for video to move forward, and evolve,” said Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom at the event. “IGTV is for watching long-form videos from your favorite creators.”
The videos will be curated based on past viewing behavior and can be created by anyone, not just professional accounts. People can upload vertical videos directly through the app or online. Users will be able to swipe through videos or can swipe up to visit a Browse tab to see personally recommended videos, popular videos, or the option to continue watching videos.
“On Instagram, people are watching 60 percent more video than they did just last year,” said Systrom.” An entirely new category of video now exists, and it’s being made by creators. Teens may be watching less TV, but they’re watching more creators online.”
All users, except smaller and new accounts, will be able to upload hour-long videos immediately, but it will eventually expand to all users. Currently, there are no ads on IGTV but that is subject to change. Systrom said that because creators are spending time and effort creating IGTV, he wants to make this method sustainable by offering them a way to monetize later. Instagram will not be paying creators directly for any IGTV videos. With 1 billion users on Instagram, IGTV could prove popular with creators who are not only trying to earn money but also to grow their following.